GoodReader is probably my favorite app on the iPad and the one I get the most use out of. This is a universal file reader and annotator. It supports file formats: PDF, TXT,• MS Office – .doc, .ppt., .xls, iWork ’08/’09, HTML and Safari webarchives, High resolution images, Even audio and video!. I use it mainly for PDFs. The first thin I do is I take my lesson plans for the day and convert them to PDF in microsoft word. I do this by the Send as PDF feature. This coverts the file to PDF and put it as an attachment to an email.
Then I just save the file and delete the email. If you have the plugin for Adobe Pro you can just do this directly by converting to PDF. I then use it all day to teach from. I have my plans and pictures of my students so I can do attendance. The best part about the app is I can write or type on the plans. I just check off the students from their pictures and save it. Later I press the sync button and the file syncs with dropbox which gives me access to my notes about the lesson and attendance for later review. One of the professional standards I am working on this year is reflecting on my teaching after the class (Domain 4 of Danielson) . Having the ability to write on my plans and then save them to my computer makes reflecting later so much easier. I have a PDF record of everything I have done and all my note from the beginning of the year. It is also very handy when a student who has been out comes up to you in the hall and says what did we do in class last Friday when he was out. I teach 4 different subjects and 5 different class periods during the day. I find it difficult to sometimes remember what I did three periods ago let alone what I did last week. I just pull up the plans on the iPad and look to see what it was. Very easy very fast.
The other major use I have for Goodreader is grading. I take students quizzes and tests and scan them into the computer. (We have a copy center that does this for me. They just run it through the copier an it drops onto my desktop) I then pull the assessments into my iPad. The next day I can now return the assessments and go over them with the students whether I have had a chance to grade them or not. Students get the immediate feedback they need and I have the time I need to grade. When I sit down to grade, instead of having stacks of paper I just open my iPad and grade right on there. I hit the sync button and I can have the graded assessment on my computer. I can grade anywhere without having to have stacks of paper with me. Finding 5 min here and there through out the day to grade a a quiz or two would not be possible if I was using paper. I would be carrying a bag of papers around with me all the time. That inconvenience means I won’t do it. However, with the iPad turning it on and just pickup where I left off even if I am standing in the caff waiting for the line to get smaller before I get a sandwich has given me a more efficient way of grading.
I also use this app to takes notes on agendas at meetings and ppts at presentations if they are available digitally before hand (which they usually are)
I highly recommend investing the $4.99 and get this app. Then start using it and you will see the efficiency you will gain.